NU Online News Service, Oct. 16, 2003, 11:45 a.m. EDT — Applications for life insurance in North America increased 2.2% over year-ago levels in September, marking only the second month of growth for all of 2003, says the MIB Group Inc., Westwood, Mass.

Application activity increased in the U.S. by 1.9% and in Canada by 4.4%, compared to the same period last year.

Results for the third quarter showed an overall decline of applications in the U.S. of 2.1%, while Canadian quarterly activity fell 2% from the third quarter of 2002, MIB says.

Growth of life insurance applications in the 60+ age group continued strong. Age 60+ application activity in the U.S. showed a 13.5% year-over- year increase in September over a year earlier, while third quarter results were up 10% over the same period last year.

In Canada, applications in the 60+ age group increased 19% over September 2002 levels, which MIB says were influenced by the strong performance of a few large Canadian insurers.